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Thursday, 6 January, 2000, 15:38 GMT
Road death toll plummets

Sixtytwo drivers killed in crashes during 1999 Sixtytwo drivers killed in crashes during 1999


Road deaths in Northern Ireland have fallen to their lowest level for more than 40 years despite a four fold increase in vehicles.

The number of people killed on the province's roads last year dropped to 141, the lowest figure since 1958.

In 1972, the worst year, 372 people were killed on the roads.

The reduction in road carnage has been welcomed by Northern Ireland Environment Minister Sam Foster who said it was all the more remarkable against the backdrop of a four fold increase in the number of registered vehicles on the roads over the same period.

He said: "I salute the caution and care being taken by the vast majority of road users in Northern Ireland.

"However the number of deaths and injuries is still far too high."



Each of us must take a long hard look at our driving habits to help ensure that death and danger on our roads continues to decrease."
Sam Foster Environment Minister
Mr Foster is to announce details of a series of measures in the coming months to reduce the death toll even further.

"For our part we will continue to promote the message that speed kills, drinking and driving kills, not wearing a seat belt kills, carelessness kills," he said.

Later this month he is to launch a new thought provoking anti-speeding advertising campaign followed shortly afterwards by new targets for fatal and serious casualties to be achieved by the year 2010.

"This will be followed in the spring by the publication of a new road safety plan which will identify new measures to supplement existing measures aimed at delivering the target reduction," he said.

But he warned: "Government cannot do it alone. Each of us must take a long hard look at our driving habits to help ensure that death and danger on our roads continues to decrease."

The 1999 death toll comprised: drivers 62; passengers 30; pedestrians 39; motor cyclists 7; pillion passengers 2 and cyclists 1.
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